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Does my bike really make me a black sheep of the community?

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Does my bike really make me a black sheep of the community?

Old 08-27-18, 09:55 AM
  #1  
Labtech200
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Does my bike really make me a black sheep of the community?

So I am entirely unsure of how to sum this up without losing important details here, but I'll try not to make this post too bloated.

I recently decided that I'd really like to get into biking / cycling as a summer past time to get me active and outside more often, and want to be able to participate in biking events in my community eventually once my strength and endurance has developed. I recently busted out my old hardtail CCM mountain bike and did my best to tune it up, but it was in a really sad state, the the bike was a good 20 years old and seriously not worth repairing. I went into my local "Bike Works" and asked about pricing, and to my dismay their bicycles start at about $500. See, I'm only 24 and my job is steady and okay, but I've got plenty of debts and bills to pay, so I won't be able to get a somewhat-decent bike from a real bike store until probably early summer of 2019 I would guess. I really wanted to get something so I could try my best to get in with what I've got, so I managed to find a Supercycle Reaction 700c on clearance for $150 (normal MSRP is $300 but this model was just discontinued) - its a big box store hybrid bike with Shimano rear and front derailleurs and Shimano-branded grip shifters.

I went into Bike Works SJ again today to talk to one of the folks I had met up with previously - I had a long discussion with him before about the state of my other bike and ways to go about fixing it, and I was hoping to get some advice about how to proceed and maybe a bit of embracing into the cycling community if I'm honest, since the people at that store seem really into cycling (as they should be) and I even mentioned that ultimately my goal was to be able to go back next year and get a proper bike from them. I tried to explain that I had tried to stick with recognisable parts from Shimano instead of going with off-brand unlabelled parts and that I was pretty excited to be able to get into it, and his responses ended up being along the lines of telling me that the bike should be fine as long as I just see it as a band-aid solution and not as a good bicycle, and that its a gateway but that they arent worth much in the long term, and pointed out some folks in the store that had 3 bicycles each - all of which were bike shop bikes and talked about how they costed a good 300 bucks a year to maintain. I know he was just likely trying to show that department store bikes arent really good and that its not a good permanent solution, but I really felt like an outsider; I kind of felt like that kid who gets told to come back when he's a bit older when he wants to participate in something.

Heck, some of my coworkers are into biking and they have bike shop bikes too, and I was really nervous about joining the forums here because of the bike that I have.

I guess my question here just boils down to; is it okay for me to participate here and consider myself as being into cycling and bikes if I don't have a good piece of kit? My budget is currently restricting me and I want to be part of the community, but the backlash against department store bicycles is so strong and universal regardless of whether it is in person or at my local bike store, so I thought I'd ask you guys directly.

Thanks folks, and please don't lynch me - I've done plenty of research, I know that just because my Bike has some Shimano parts doesn't make them good (as they almost certainly wouldn't even reach Deore level). I just tried to do the best with what I had.
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Old 08-27-18, 10:03 AM
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On the C&V subforum, they revel in low-quality components and bikes, as long as they're old. So the short answer is that you should not feel ashamed about the quality of your bike or allow it to be a barrier to participation.
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Old 08-27-18, 10:04 AM
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So, you are not in Portland Oregon , where it's more normal..
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Old 08-27-18, 10:05 AM
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Go out there and ride whatever you have. Don't worry about the other cyclists. Some will accept you, some will not. Frankly, it doesn't matter.
Get on your bike and ride. Talk to people. Learn from some, ignore the others, discard the useless.
Learn to maintain your own bike and start using craigslist and other used parts outlets. Go to your LBS and look at what they have on the bargain bins and buy what you can use.
Start riding, less worrying.
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Old 08-27-18, 10:12 AM
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the responses - although I honestly don't really understand that portland oregon post, hahah.
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Old 08-27-18, 10:17 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Labtech200 View Post
So I am entirely unsure of how to sum this up without losing important details here, but I'll try not to make this post too bloated.

I recently decided that I'd really like to get into biking / cycling as a summer past time to get me active and outside more often, and want to be able to participate in biking events in my community eventually once my strength and endurance has developed. I recently busted out my old hardtail CCM mountain bike and did my best to tune it up, but it was in a really sad state, the the bike was a good 20 years old and seriously not worth repairing. I went into my local "Bike Works" and asked about pricing, and to my dismay their bicycles start at about $500. See, I'm only 24 and my job is steady and okay, but I've got plenty of debts and bills to pay, so I won't be able to get a somewhat-decent bike from a real bike store until probably early summer of 2019 I would guess. I really wanted to get something so I could try my best to get in with what I've got, so I managed to find a Supercycle Reaction 700c on clearance for $150 (normal MSRP is $300 but this model was just discontinued) - its a big box store hybrid bike with Shimano rear and front derailleurs and Shimano-branded grip shifters.

I went into Bike Works SJ again today to talk to one of the folks I had met up with previously - I had a long discussion with him before about the state of my other bike and ways to go about fixing it, and I was hoping to get some advice about how to proceed and maybe a bit of embracing into the cycling community if I'm honest, since the people at that store seem really into cycling (as they should be) and I even mentioned that ultimately my goal was to be able to go back next year and get a proper bike from them. I tried to explain that I had tried to stick with recognisable parts from Shimano instead of going with off-brand unlabelled parts and that I was pretty excited to be able to get into it, and his responses ended up being along the lines of telling me that the bike should be fine as long as I just see it as a band-aid solution and not as a good bicycle, and that its a gateway but that they arent worth much in the long term, and pointed out some folks in the store that had 3 bicycles each - all of which were bike shop bikes and talked about how they costed a good 300 bucks a year to maintain. I know he was just likely trying to show that department store bikes arent really good and that its not a good permanent solution, but I really felt like an outsider; I kind of felt like that kid who gets told to come back when he's a bit older when he wants to participate in something.

Heck, some of my coworkers are into biking and they have bike shop bikes too, and I was really nervous about joining the forums here because of the bike that I have.

I guess my question here just boils down to; is it okay for me to participate here and consider myself as being into cycling and bikes if I don't have a good piece of kit? My budget is currently restricting me and I want to be part of the community, but the backlash against department store bicycles is so strong and universal regardless of whether it is in person or at my local bike store, so I thought I'd ask you guys directly.

Thanks folks, and please don't lynch me - I've done plenty of research, I know that just because my Bike has some Shimano parts doesn't make them good (as they almost certainly wouldn't even reach Deore level). I just tried to do the best with what I had.
Enjoy the hell out of the bike you have, ask questions, share your experiences. Anyone who puts you down for your lack of "proper kit" isn't going to say much worth hearing anyway.

The vast majority of bikes sold in this country are department store bikes, so I think it's a pretty dumb thing to exclude people who ride them from "the community" (whatever the hell that is). Honestly, I would think a thread where people discuss which department store bikes have worked for them and which ones should be avoided would be helpful, and if I knew anything about them, I would start such a thread. Maybe you're the guy.

Y'know who I think are the black sheep of the community? People going 25+ MPH on a MUP who zip right past a little kid with training wheels without even warning the kid's parents they're going to pass. I saw that yesterday and yelled at the guy for it, but I would rather have confiscated his bike.
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Old 08-27-18, 10:17 AM
  #7  
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Pretty much no one is going to notice on your ride if you have a department store bike.

The problem you're likely to have is speed and reliability. The $100-$200 bikes just tend to fall apart and have issues rather quickly. My dad snowbirds and bought one from walmart thinking "well it's just for a few months and I can just donate it at the end and buy a new one next year for $100". Makes sense. But within 20 miles it was creaking, making noises and starting to fall apart at the bottom bracket, etc. He ended just getting rid of it and buying a new $400 bike and finding someone who let him keep it in their garage over the summer while he's not there.

If you an find a cheaper used bike (that's not a department store bike) that's how people usually try to go cheaper.
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Old 08-27-18, 10:22 AM
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just ride. save up and buy what you want. I'm riding a mountain bike from the 90's on the road and it does fine
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Old 08-27-18, 10:25 AM
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To the OP .... Look at it this way... Your bike shares the same road or trail as the big boys ride. Your bike shifts and brakes just like the big boys bikes. Your bike has 2 wheels just like the big boys. Your bike is no different than the big boys bikes.

And don't let anyone tell you different. Case closed. Period. No further discussion. Ride on .....
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Old 08-27-18, 10:36 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Labtech200 View Post
So I am entirely unsure of how to sum this up without losing important details here, but I'll try not to make this post too bloated.

I recently decided that I'd really like to get into biking / cycling as a summer past time to get me active and outside more often, and want to be able to participate in biking events in my community eventually once my strength and endurance has developed. I recently busted out my old hardtail CCM mountain bike and did my best to tune it up, but it was in a really sad state, the the bike was a good 20 years old and seriously not worth repairing. I went into my local "Bike Works" and asked about pricing, and to my dismay their bicycles start at about $500. See, I'm only 24 and my job is steady and okay, but I've got plenty of debts and bills to pay, so I won't be able to get a somewhat-decent bike from a real bike store until probably early summer of 2019 I would guess. I really wanted to get something so I could try my best to get in with what I've got, so I managed to find a Supercycle Reaction 700c on clearance for $150 (normal MSRP is $300 but this model was just discontinued) - its a big box store hybrid bike with Shimano rear and front derailleurs and Shimano-branded grip shifters.

I went into Bike Works SJ again today to talk to one of the folks I had met up with previously - I had a long discussion with him before about the state of my other bike and ways to go about fixing it, and I was hoping to get some advice about how to proceed and maybe a bit of embracing into the cycling community if I'm honest, since the people at that store seem really into cycling (as they should be) and I even mentioned that ultimately my goal was to be able to go back next year and get a proper bike from them. I tried to explain that I had tried to stick with recognisable parts from Shimano instead of going with off-brand unlabelled parts and that I was pretty excited to be able to get into it, and his responses ended up being along the lines of telling me that the bike should be fine as long as I just see it as a band-aid solution and not as a good bicycle, and that its a gateway but that they arent worth much in the long term, and pointed out some folks in the store that had 3 bicycles each - all of which were bike shop bikes and talked about how they costed a good 300 bucks a year to maintain. I know he was just likely trying to show that department store bikes arent really good and that its not a good permanent solution, but I really felt like an outsider; I kind of felt like that kid who gets told to come back when he's a bit older when he wants to participate in something.

Heck, some of my coworkers are into biking and they have bike shop bikes too, and I was really nervous about joining the forums here because of the bike that I have.

I guess my question here just boils down to; is it okay for me to participate here and consider myself as being into cycling and bikes if I don't have a good piece of kit? My budget is currently restricting me and I want to be part of the community, but the backlash against department store bicycles is so strong and universal regardless of whether it is in person or at my local bike store, so I thought I'd ask you guys directly.

Thanks folks, and please don't lynch me - I've done plenty of research, I know that just because my Bike has some Shimano parts doesn't make them good (as they almost certainly wouldn't even reach Deore level). I just tried to do the best with what I had.
Yes, you should participate here and yes, you should keep riding. Ride what you have; if you get hooked, you'll find a way to get a 'better' bike if/when you feel the need.

FWIW, I re-started cycling at age 50, long ago now, on a 'department store bike' for the first year. I was lucky: first LBS I approached for help went out of their way to keep me going with what I had. That tank of a bike got me well hooked on cycling; I still have it. Result: I did soon end up with 'bike store bikes' -- one year later in fact -- and I've always stayed with that shop. By the way ... "Bike Works SJ": you're not in/near Saint John NB by any chance?? If yes, good folks in that shop for the most part but they can and do get hung up on 'bikes', just like most of us here. Try not to take those kinds of comments (in the shop) too seriously, and stick with it. Canadian pricing sucks right now, what with the exchange rates etc., but with luck that will change.

I'm not an NBer, but we do spend our summers/early Fall there (near Saint John -- our adopted city). There's some great riding in the area -- mountain and road. Bike magazine did a feature on NB a couple issues ago.

Last edited by badger1; 08-27-18 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 08-27-18, 10:43 AM
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As someone relatively new to cycling I completely understand feeling like a fish out of water. While all of the local bike stores (LBS) here are Specialized/Giant dealers and were staffed by really nice people who made good recommendations, I ended up not buying from them and instead got a Fuji from Performance which is a national retail chain. It's not a big box store, but it's not quite a LBS. I got it because it's what I could afford and I don't care so much what the name on the bike is. I got into cycling because I want to get in shape and due to an old soccer injury my ankle can't handle team sports or running anymore. Cycling fits my body perfectly and I'm starting to see some real fitness improvements. No, I'm not riding a top of the line Cervelo or Specialized Tarmac or other high end race bike. Yes, it's a "flat-bar road bike" (aka a hybrid bike), but it gets me out on the road and I have tons of fun on it and that's all that matters to me. I get passed all the time by older women riding 15 year old no name bikes and I don't care about their bike because I don't aspire to own flashy kit. I aspire to get healthy, take care of my body, and to get faster! I can do all of that on a hybrid fitness bike so I'm good. Maybe in a few more months I won't get passed by the elderly anymore, lol.


I'll echo what others have said above. Nobody should care what bike you ride or what name is on it. And you shouldn't care about people that would look down on your because your kit. The problem with a big box bike isn't the name, but the reliability. They tend to fall apart rather quickly, but as long as you take careful care of it, it will probably last you a season or maybe two. In the meantime, check out craigslist, Facebook swap and sells, etc and see if you can find a higher quality used bike. Make friends on group rides and ask around if anyone is looking to part with an old bike they don't ride anymore because they upgraded. Most importantly, stay on whatever bike you have and enjoy yourself.
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Old 08-27-18, 10:49 AM
  #12  
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The more you ride, the more you'll know about what you want next. Take your time saving and choosing. Enjoy your bikes, whatever they are...I do.
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Old 08-27-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Labtech200 View Post
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the responses - although I honestly don't really understand that portland oregon post, hahah.
Feitsbot is a random Markov chain word generator with a few programming errors, and it only takes thread titles as input, so its signal-to-noise ratio tends to be quite low.

Ride whatever you feel like riding, and never feel the need to be apologetic about it.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 08-27-18, 10:54 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
Go out there and ride whatever you have. Don't worry about the other cyclists. Some will accept you, some will not. Frankly, it doesn't matter.
Get on your bike and ride. Talk to people. Learn from some, ignore the others, discard the useless.
Learn to maintain your own bike and start using craigslist and other used parts outlets. Go to your LBS and look at what they have on the bargain bins and buy what you can use.
Start riding, less worrying.
This.
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Old 08-27-18, 10:55 AM
  #15  
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I am sorry, but I don’t understand why people give a damn about what others ride and, just as important, why do people give a damn about the opinions of others?

Just ride your bike.
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Old 08-27-18, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
Yes, you should participate here and yes, you should keep riding. Ride what you have; if you get hooked, you'll find a way to get a 'better' bike if/when you feel the need.

FWIW, I re-started cycling at age 50, long ago now, on a 'department store bike' for the first year. I was lucky: first LBS I approached for help went out of their way to keep me going with what I had. That tank of a bike got me well hooked on cycling; I still have it. Result: I did soon end up with 'bike store bikes' -- one year later in fact -- and I've always stayed with that shop. By the way ... "Bike Works SJ": you're not in/near Saint John NB by any chance?? If yes, good folks in that shop for the most part but they can and do get hung up on 'bikes', just like most of us here. Try not to take those kinds of comments (in the shop) too seriously, and stick with it. Canadian pricing sucks right now, what with the exchange rates etc., but with luck that will change.

I'm not an NBer, but we do spend our summers/early Fall there (near Saint John -- our adopted city). There's some great riding in the area -- mountain and road. Bike magazine did a feature on NB a couple issues ago.

Hey, yeah I am in Saint John, actually. Smme of them seem really friendly but the vibe I got was very much "come back when you want a serious bike". Cool to run into people who are familiar with this area! And thank you for the response
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Old 08-27-18, 11:15 AM
  #17  
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Go to C&V and read about the Clunker Challenge (#4).

just ride on........we all belong!



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Old 08-27-18, 11:16 AM
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@Everyone, wow! I am floored by the amount of responses to my question; thank you all so much, it's really nice to see really inviting, friendly and honest people- I expected a lot of people to kind of turn their noses up at me, and this thread has made me feel better about joining in the discussions here. I will try to take all the advice I can get here and run with it . Talk about a warm welcome!
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Old 08-27-18, 11:26 AM
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What the shop guy was trying to tell you is, ride & enjoy the bike for what it is; don't try to upgrade it piecemeal in the hopes you'll end up with a nice one.

BTW, saying a part is "Shimano" means nothing. Shimano makes parts that span the spectrum of quality, from the elite stuff to the truly cheap, awful.
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Old 08-27-18, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Labtech200 View Post
Hey, yeah I am in Saint John, actually. Smme of them seem really friendly but the vibe I got was very much "come back when you want a serious bike". Cool to run into people who are familiar with this area! And thank you for the response
Cheers! Re. the shops, just try to ignore the negative -- usually not ill-intentioned. I think BW is about the least-bad in the area when it comes to that sort of thing. Have you popped into Bikes 'n Beans, or the Trek store (used to be part of that fireplace shop on Rothesay Ave, now over on Millennium in Quispam.) yet?
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Old 08-27-18, 11:28 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Labtech200 View Post
...is it okay for me to participate here and consider myself as being into cycling and bikes if I don't have a good piece of kit?
Yes.

If you ride a bike, you are into cycling and bikes.

You're young and you're new to bikeforums (welcome!). I am not so young, and I have been into audio equipment, cameras and bikes, and I will tell you this...

Bikes, cameras, cooking utensiles...as long as humans are involved there will be snobbery, status jockeys and somebody willing to take advantage of your naivete and possible jealousy to persuade you that you or your equipment is not good enough; that you need the latest and greatest; and they happen to sell it, or if they own it, that they are better than you.

Ignore them.

"Ride your ride" as they say here on bikeforums. We all come from different circumstances and are all heading towards different goals.

You are young, but smart. You bought a modest bike within your means, and you got a great deal on it.

Another bit of popular advice here for people getting into cycling, or returning after a long absence is to first buy an inexpensive, modest bike, and learn what you want in a bike and "kit"... speed? style? reliability? one-upmanship? Comfort? Road, mountain, hybrid...whatever.

So you've got stage one covered.

When you are ready for your next bike, you will be making a smarter purchase, and one better suited for your wants, needs and values. And let me tell you, as some one who was in your exact situation 32 years ago with the same question of whether I can call myself a cyclist...

...wants, needs and values change over your lifetime.

So "eff" all the kit and technology. If you've got the desire to ride, and you have found a way to fit it into your life in whatever way, shape or form...

...you are a cyclist...

...and your participation is welcomed here.

Because nobody rides your ride, but you, and you are the world's expert on it.

Now go pedal until your head is clear and you are gasping for breath.

Last edited by BobbyG; 08-27-18 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 08-27-18, 11:30 AM
  #22  
Maelochs
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I don't know ... I don't think guy has spent enough money to be "one of us."



I rode decent bikes as a kid---cheap, standard, average bikes---but when I started riding as an adult, i literally pulled bikes out of the trash and rebuilt them. And I rode six or seven days a week for years---I din't have a car and I didn't need one because i always had a couple cheap bikes.

When the p[eple at Bike Forum found out, they kicked me out and banned me for five years.

No seriously ... "Cycling" is riding a bicycle.

If people treated driving the way some people treat cycling, you wouldn't actually be "driving" unless you owned a couple Ferraris ... or at least three different Corvettes and a BMW.

Go ride your bicycle ... practice ignoring snobs on bicycle forums. You will have plenty of use for that skill.

Oh, wait ... your bike doesn't have disc brakes, does it???
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Old 08-27-18, 11:42 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
BTW, saying a part is "Shimano" means nothing. Shimano makes parts that span the spectrum of quality, from the elite stuff to the truly cheap, awful.
Yeah, but at least it usually works compared to no name stuff found on some BSOs
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Old 08-27-18, 11:43 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
On the C&V subforum, they revel in low-quality components and bikes, as long as they're old. So the short answer is that you should not feel ashamed about the quality of your bike or allow it to be a barrier to participation.
Not exactly true...

A lot of people hunt out those gems from yesteryear.

Yet, there is a lot of cumulative knowledge, and people are pretty welcoming of people with different bike styles.
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Old 08-27-18, 11:45 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Stormsedge View Post
The more you ride, the more you'll know about what you want next. Take your time saving and choosing. Enjoy your bikes, whatever they are...I do.
That's what I think too.

Cycling, somewhat like American politics, is pretty evenly divided between "Freds" and "poseurs". No matter what you ride, wear or do you are going to fall into one camp or the other and half of us are going to scoff at you. Get used to it. Ride whatever you are comfortable with.

If I were you, I'd probably just get a pair of smooth tread 1.9 tires for your CCM.
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